Heather Mills gambles on popular vote with ice-skating appearance

HEATHER Mills has said taking part in the ITV celebrity ice-skating show Dancing on Ice will prove how popular she is with the British public.

Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife, says performing on the programme will reveal the nation's true feelings about her.

She said: "We shall see just how dumbed-down the nation has become, whether they have been able to see through all the negative press about me."

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Mills, who is divorced from the former Beatle and has a daughter by him, denied the negative perceptions of her, which she blamed squarely on the media.

She said: "It was easy for the media to describe me as a gold-digger, but this is so far removed from who I really am."

She insisted she would not speak about McCartney on the show but said her relations with him were amicable for their daughter's sake.

Mills, who is a model and lost a leg after a motorcycle collision in 1993, is held in much higher regard in the United States, where she is known for her charity campaigning.

In 2007, she was the first performer in the American version of television show Strictly Come Dancing, to take part with a prosthetic leg.

However, PR experts have warned she faces an uphill struggle to win back popularity in Britain after her highly publicised split from McCartney.

Last month, when the show's line-up was revealed, PR guru Max Clifford said: "I'm sure there must be redeeming features but she's kept them incredibly well hidden.

"Considering how many times she has tried to win the hearts and minds of the British public and failed it's not going to be easy.

"The British public have made up their minds."

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Mills will be joined by EastEnders star Danniella Westbrook, Gordon Ramsay's wife Tana, Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies and singer Sinitta on the show, as well as The Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack, whose mother is McCartney's cousin.